What Are Trans Fats – Good or Bad?

Fats can be either bad or good. If you wish to lose weight and keep healthy, you should be aware of trans fats. This type of fat is unhealthy, raising blood cholesterol and leading to heart disease or even cancer. Trans fats are extremely threatening, as they lower HDL levels, known as the good cholesterol, which protects you against heart attack.

What Are Trans Fats?

Trans fats appear as two types, those that are naturally occurring in certain foods like meat and dairy and artificial varieties that are manmade.

The naturally occurring varieties are produced in the stomach of animals, and so foods made from them, such as dairy and steaks contain small amounts of these fats.

Trans fatty acids, the artificial varieties are created in factories where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to turn those oils into solids; mainly this is done to increase shelf life of food.

In processed foods, the primary dietary source of trans fats is partially hydrogenated oils, and these should be eliminated from the diet, so check all food labels for this ingredient.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination in 2013 that partially hydrogenated oils are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.